James Hawley Family

Hawley family portrait. 1930c [P08762]

James Hawley was born in 1877 in Ingonish, Nova Scotia, and came to Haney in 1910. 

Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Mary Hawley (nee Haney) was born on October 24th, 1883.  She attended school in the Port Haney area and participated in a variety of community activities throughout her life.  She fell in love with James Hawley and the two were married on June 5th, 1917.

James Hawley with a dog posed with a pipe in its mouth. The dog’s name was Meter. 1920 c [P08744]

Elizabeth and James moved into Haney House just after the wedding to be with recently widowed Anne.  The Hawley’s had three children: Mary Doreen, Charles Joseph, and James Bernard.  Elizabeth was responsible for quite a few structural changes in Haney House over the years, such as arranging for the upstairs washroom to be installed after indoor plumbing and electricity were added to the house.

James Hawley worked for the BC Electric company as a lineman and meter reader.  He had a long series of dogs and was renowned in the area for his handling of animals.  Dogs and cats loved him and followed him wherever he went.  There are numerous funny poses of pets in the Haney House collection as the pets seemed happy to wear costumes and hold silly poses if James asked them to.

James Hawley [L] and co-workers circa 1920. Four men seen standing at the entrance to a shed. [P8831]

Elizabeth was very much involved in the affairs of the community.  She was a member of the Haney Women’s Institute at its inception on October 25, 1915.  Some of its activities included setting up a dental clinic, organizing flower shows, teas, raffles, dances, fashion shows, and a baby clinic. Not only did the institute organize Maple Ridge’s first library, but also assisted on the home front during the first and second world wars. 

She was president of the Ladies’ Altar Society which held bazaars, teas, and card parties.  She was a charter member of the Catholic Women’s League and its first president.  Elizabeth was chosen to cut the ribbon, in 1975, when the new gymnasium was opened and became part of St. Patrick’s complex which included the church, rectory, and elementary school.

In her declining years, Elizabeth and her daughter, Mary, worked hard to have Haney House declared a heritage site. 

James Hawley died in 1971, Mary Hawley-Isaac died in July of 1979, and her son Joe in April of 1980.  Bernard was the only surviving child at the time of Elizabeth’s death on May 15th, 1981 – he passed away on April 9, 1999.